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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work


19-21 June 2024

Theme: Crises new and old? Conflict, climate and governance in the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes region faces its most severe political crisis in over twenty years. While the UN peacekeeping mission withdraws from the DRC, protracted and newer violent conflicts in its East have drawn in armies from Burundi, Uganda and Rwanda, as well as mercenaries and a sway of armed groups mobilized under the banner of a militant patriotism. As Rwanda commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Genocide Against the Tutsi, it has rarely been more urgent to learn from the past. The 2024 Great Lakes Course will centre the region’s transnational histories and adopt a decidedly regional perspective to try and make sense of current events. The course will explore the role of memory politics, discuss the more immediate triggers of the ongoing crisis, study governance conundrums of the region, assess resistance to state power, and delve into the risks and opportunities of nature conservation, climate change and the agenda for the decolonization of development.

Syllabus Outline

Day 1 – Wednesday, 19 June 2024: War, Memory and Violent Conflict

• Who knows? Local and expert knowledge
• War, conflict and memory politics in the Great Lakes
• Land, displacement and violence in the Great Lakes
• Regional crisis: Triggers, risks and responses

Day 2 – Thursday, 20 June 2024: Security, Gender and Governance

• Security governance in the DRC and Burundi
• Governing local security in Uganda and Rwanda
• Gender and power in the Great Lakes
• Contesting state power in the Great Lakes

Day 3 – Friday, 21 June 2024: Nature, Climate Change and Development

• The conservation-development-security nexus
• Conflict, climate change and green transitions
• Development, decolonization and localization: Challenges and opportunities
• Paths to peace

More Resources

Download the full overview of the Great Lakes course including the teaching team here.
Find commonly asked questions and answers about this year’s Great Lakes course here.

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